Children’s Attractions in Topeka

Topeka has a lot to offer visitors of all ages. If you’re going to be seeing the city with little ones, there are some great attractions that you certainly won’t want to miss. Nestled away in the beautiful Gage Park, the Kansas Children’s Discovery Centre is the ideal place for curious minds who love to play whilst they learn. The building, which is the best part of 16,000 square foot, contains nine different exhibits all geared towards teaching valuable lessons on a range of subjects including science, art and economics, whilst being a bucket load of fun to boot. As well as the hands on experiments inside, there are a number of outdoor activities on offer too. There are adventure playgrounds, tree house trails and a garden featuring an expansive, interactive water feature. The centre is closed most Mondays and is open 10am-5pm the rest of the week with the exception of Sundays on which it is open between 1pm and 5pm. Various events go on throughout the year, so it’s a good idea to phone ahead and see what is happening on any given day before you start planning your trip. Admission is $7.25 for adults and children alike. Also located in Gage Park is the Topeka Zoo, where you’ll find a whole host of your favourite animals, including creepy crawlies, birds and bats, lazy sloths, big jungle cats, reptiles, black bears and various members of the ape family. There’s even a kid’s zoo featuring cute farm animals that you can feed and pet. On top of that, there’s a ‘living classroom’ where you can go for even more educational fun. Perfect for anyone with a love of nature. The zoo is open from 9am to 5pm everyday of the week except for major holidays. You’ll need to get there before 4.30pm for last admissions. Tickets are $5.75 for adults and $4.25 for children. Again there are lots of special events that run throughout the year so check what’s on before heading down to make sure you make the most of your trip. Of course, Gage Park is beautiful in of itself and a good place to let the kids run around and get some air in their lungs. If you go for a look around you should definitely drop into the Blaisdell Family Aquatic Centre which features a huge outdoor swimming pool – the ideal place to cool off if you’re coming during the heat of the summer months. The pool is, as the name suggests, family friendly and there’s lots to keep swimmers entertained, including diving boards, slides and waterfalls. There are shallow paddling areas and...

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Sporting Events in Topeka

If, as a sports fanatic, you find yourself in Topeka with a yearning to see some competitive action, don’t worry. As well as a host of regular sporting events, there’s a variety of events that carry more of the local flavour that will satisfy that urge. It would be downright neglectful to talk about sports in Topeka without bringing up the races that take place at the motorsports Mecca that is Heartland Park. Here you can see dirt track, drag strip and road course racing amongst other events. This year in May, over the Memorial Day weekend, the NHRA Kansas Nationals will be held at Heartland Park, where petrol heads can get a three day fix of high octane action, including some fastest funny cars in the world. If you’d rather see something a little more unusual then you might want to check out steer wrestling. If you’ve no idea what that actually involves, it’s basically an event in which a cowboy, mounted on his faithful steed, chases down a steer and makes and acrobatic leap from the horse to the steer. He then proceeds to wrestle the latter to the ground by its horns. As you may have picked up from the description, it’s quite a spectacle and not the safest of sports. Indeed, there are only five regional steer wrestling events that take place, and one of them is held at Topeka’s Domer Livestock Arena in January. There’s more at the same venue in the same month in the form of the PRCA Championship Rodeo, where you can see roping, bronc riding and all other sorts of events that you’d expect of a Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association event. If you want something with an equestrian theme but at a little bit more relaxed of a pace, then you might want to head down to the Kansas State Horseshoe Tournament which takes place at the end of August. Horseshoe pitching is a serious business at this event, with contenders all eager to take the crown. It takes place in Gage Park which, if you take a look at some of our other articles, you’ll see is already overflowing with family friendly attractions. Another sporting family event that makes for a great day out is the Sunflower State Games. They run for three consecutive weekends during July and feature a huge range of events, from martial arts, to bowling, sand volleyball to orienteering. It’s open to all age groups and ability levels and is all about inclusivity and fun. Whatever sort of sport you prefer, the likelihood is that it’ll be on at the games, which give the Olympics...

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Topeka’s Annual Events

There’s always lots to do in Topeka, but it’s worth checking if your visit coincides with any of the regular events that take place in the city throughout the year, as you may be coming just at the right time to see something you’ll really love. Washburn University plays host to a number of enriching events. As mentioned on our page on Topeka’s cultural attractions they have a wonderful museum of art that you should drop in on, but in addition, they also put on a couple of arts festivals. There’s the Kansas Silent Film Festival which takes place at the end of February, where you can see classics of the genre accompanied by a soundtrack provided by a live orchestra in the White Concert Hall on campus. In the first half of June that same venue sees The Sunflower Music Festival get underway. This consists of a series of chamber music evenings, concerts, talks, events and other educational activities. It attracts some world class musicians too, so whether you’re a classical aficionado or would simply enjoy seeing some beautiful pieces expertly performed, this is worth looking into. It runs for two weeks and all concerts are free to view. Finally, Washburn campus is home to the Mulvane Mountains/Plains Art Fair. This also falls in June, usually the first week of the month. It features pieces by a wide range of artists and there are also a number of hands on activities you can get involved with, as well as live music. If you want more in the way of music then The Spirit of Kansas Blues Festival, which takes place at the lovely Lake Shawnee (see our page on Topeka’s natural attractions for more on this location) could be the one for you. There are live performances from musician’s from all over the country as well as food and crafts to enjoy. The date should be easy enough to remember too, as the event takes place on the 4th of July. If you want to experience some of the different influences on Topeka’s culture then you might look at paying a visit to the Fiesta Mexicana, which celebrates Mexican food, music, dancing and traditions. It takes place in the Oakland neighbourhood in July. Alternatively there is the Inter Tribal Pow Wow which is hosted every year at lake Shawnee. Again, there is food, dancing and all sorts of traditional activities to look into – a must if you’re interested in the region’s Native American history. There’s even more history on offer in October in the form of the Apple Festival. This takes place in the first weekend in...

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